Live by Your Ideals

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When you don’t believe in yourself, act on what you believe in.

This is Part 2 in a series from The Better Man’s Guide to Happiness - Part 1 on Blame 

By Steve Mayeda


The Ideal Life is a Choice
Every living human being desires to life their ideal life.  That life isn’t given, it is earned.  However, it may not be earned in the way you might be thinking. It isn’t earned by a set of achievements or a check list being met.  It is the result of a series of choices through the challenges that you encounter.  Choices that are shaped based on your principles and philosophy first.  If you want to live a good quality life, you need to first establish your ideals and live by them.   This is an road to masculinity we are rarely told of.  You need to choose to live by what you believe in and know that how you live is far more important than what you get.

In your life you are guaranteed to be disappointed, let down, congratulated, adored, rejected and rewarded. These are things that will affect you. There is no denying that the outside world influences who you are.  However, it doesn’t have to shape you. You have the choice of perspective and action.  Whether we go through good or bad situations it is how we handle those circumstances that allow us to be happy, fulfilled and ultimately live a good life. The road to being the better man comes from within. Just as the world outside is constantly affecting you, the world within is what determines your perspective and expression. When we learn the power of our choice, we have the option to always be the better man.  No matter what happens, you always have choice.  How you live with what you get is the key to living your ideal life.


The Value Within 
A great problem for men (and women) is that we forget our true value comes from within.  Our ideals, principles and philosophy, come from who we are and how they are applied in our choices, actions and perspectives.  We often get caught up in finding the value outside of ourselves – image, façade, gossip, approval and blame. You will never be found, expressed or experienced when you haven’t connected the inside of you to the outside world. We cannot be the best versions of ourselves if we live by the values of other people, places and things outside of ourselves. Social acceptability does not equal true fulfillment  What we believe in should be expressed in how we live. Expressing our ideals is a choice that we can always live by.

The power of choice can make you a great man and give you a great life. To be the Better Man is simple, make more good choices than bad ones.

There’s a lot of advice and information that can be found on how to live better. However, I see little given from experience. Information without the reality of experience ends up being misinformation. Choice is experience.  Living your choices based on your ideals is experience. Sitting back, reading this and agreeing or disagreeing is not experience.  Perhaps today you can make the choice to lead yourself, and value what is within you. If you can just do that, you’re on a path that has always worked out best for me, and for those I admire.


When You Don’t Know What to Do Act on Your Ideals
This is a simple concept, but a hard one to live by.  There will be many times in your life when you will not know what to do or how to act so therefore we react.  Reacting is fear in action.  When we are afraid there are two options, fight or flight.  There is a time and a place for those.  However, our road to happiness, fulfillment and being a better man lies in the choices we make, not the reactions we take.  We need to empower that choice.  When we are faced with tough decisions or a situation, we need to make a choice based on a virtuous ideal. It can be love, acceptance, unity, hope, surrender, honesty, open-mindedness, humility or sharing.  These ideals are up to you to find, decide upon and establish. Expressing that ideal may not always feel like the easy thing to do but in the long run you will live a better life.

A few years ago I found out I would not see my two sons for a many years.  Their mother had pressed child abuse charges on me. When it first happened, like anyone else, I got caught up in the blame, anger and outrage.  The charges I felt were unfair and unjustified.  I remember the day I was told a protective order was being placed on them and there was no way to reverse it.  I walked from my attorney’s office and ended up under a bridge.  I tried to call every phone number in my support system but no one picked up.  I felt hopeless.  I gave up, stopped fighting and I cried.  It was a Friday and at the time I was a volunteer at a rehab on those nights.  My buddy who would join me, finally returned my call.  I told him what happened, and he gave me the best advice. He said, “When you don’t know what to do, do what works. Be of service. You can act your way into good thinking but you can’t think your way into good acting.”  

So that is what I did. I acted on my ideals.

After that I felt sad, hurt and like my life was over however there was no more blame or anger.  It was a terrible situation but acting on what I believed in, service, sharing, compassion and ‘doing the next best thing,’ was an opportunity for choice. I spoke at the rehab that night like I did every Friday night.  I carried the message of hope in the form of pain and honesty.  I later took the legal actions necessary to protect and defend myself.  I also took the time to look at the anger, confusion and resentment I was holding on to.  I didn’t change sadness into happiness, or hurt into joy but what I did do was live by the principles I believed in, even if it hurt.  This is one of the greatest skills I have ever learned and something few man have chosen to do.  When we deny ourselves from living our ideal, we can never live the ideal life.

A man lives by his ideals, not his reactions.  A man makes his choices on how to live.  Living by what you believe in is how you get the results that will make you happy, fulfilled and have a sense of self.  Making a mistake, looking bad and failing are all a part of life and the process of becoming a man.  You will feel pain, sadness, and loss.  You’re supposed to.  What matter is the choice you make with it, decide what you believe in and live by it. The results are just an accent to the man they surround.


The Better Man’s Guide
photo (3)The Better Man’s Guide is a resource for you to live as a better man. It isn’t a model or a system. It is a philosophy based on you being an authentic best version of yourself. It is living by this philosophy, adapting some principles to it, and applying it to life, career, sex and relationships. One of the great highlights of this article series is the power of choice. It is the one thing we have control over in our lives. If we can truly focus in on that, everyday and every opportunity we will live better.

There are 2 main reasons why I started the Better Man’s Guide -
The Journey - My journey to becoming a better man has not been easy. However, I have found great love, sense of self, expression in work and have built a nice life for myself. Most of what has made my life great has not come from what most people would think. There’s a lot of information out there and a lot of it is bad. I wish I had a guide to follow when I didn’t know what to do that was based on life experience.
Resource - There isn’t enough information out there for men to truly be better men. Being the best expression of yourself is your birthright. The story of man is not told honestly, it is often filtered to not sound offensive, aggressive or sexual. Men need an outlet to be men. If we are constantly censoring our masculinity we will never be better men. The Better Man’s Guide is a resource for us to be just that, Better Man.
Men are shaped by reality not an image. Live your life and own it.

Be the Better Man

Checkout the Better Man’s Guide to Dating & Lifestyle – a Step by Step Course in Meeting Women, Dating and Becoming the Better Man – Check it out for $7!


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Steve MayedaLive by Your Ideals

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